No, management needs to keep employees quiet or it may conflict with top management's message. The CEO should also be careful or he can be held liable. Corporate communications is often a warm body quota filled job that can be the scapegoat. Rule of thumb, when discussing your employer publicly, pretend you live in North Korea.
I don't know much about c-stores. What I do know is that fuel prices are quite low in the U.S. When I was in primary school our science teachers told us that by this time there would be no more oil left. Instead there is a huge glut. I also know Kroger is just a mediocre retailer (but well managed) and there are superior c-store competitors. I have to wonder what the long-term future is in fuel. Will there be a conversion to electric vehicles? Maybe getting out now is a good idea.
Many American companies seem to have no problem finding good retail employees. Wegmans and Publix come to mind. Others not so much. If you want good employees follow the practices of these kinds of companies. Many are employee-owned. There are those that are not like Trader Joe's. Copy their hiring and work culture.
Of course Kroger and Walmart were the biggest sources of new customers. Those are the two largest grocers in the U.S. Lower prices will increase sales a little but overall Whole Foods will be very expensive to shop. This is mostly a publicity stunt. Whole Foods is successful for providing an experience, not being competitive on prices. Imagine if Amazon bought Disney World and lowered the day pass to $29. Amazon needs to keep prices high or it would ruin the shopping experience.
I can tell you that in Hawaii this is very concerning. We only have two wholesalers, those being C&S and Unified. What if this doesn't work and Supervalu continues to lose money and file bankruptcy? Hawaiian grocers would have liked to see a more financially stable company buy Unified. Hopefully the next big consolidation will relieve some anxiety in paradise. Unless C&S and Supervalu merge. That would surely require approval from whomever regulates competition in the government. With new people in power in the U.S., I can only imagine what would be approved.
I'm not so sure there is a difference between younger and older generations. Young and old liberals seem to post the same shares on Facebook as do the young and old conservatives. I see two types of social issues. First is the type that mostly deal in people's feelings and well-being such as bathrooms and health care. The other type is where people lose their lives such as war and civil disobedience. It's probably OK for businesses to dabble in the current events issues so long as it fits in well with their customer base. As for the big issues like unpopular wars and national security, it's best to leave that to politicians and celebrities.
Retailers will end up with fewer employees but better ones. From what I see the real minimum wage has been set by the market someplace in the $10 to $13 range. A higher minimum wage would mean retailers need to take a serious look at who they will keep and who will be sent home. No business can afford to pay an $8 an hour worker $15. Fewer workers but better workers would probably be a zero sum game. The "keepers" might get overworked.
Other than Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and parts of Hawaii, where are there any Kmarts? Does it even make sense for Kmart to advertise with so few stores left? Walmart would get the nod if all they showed was a test pattern for 30 seconds.
This is not my area but if it's not broke, don't fix it. Many of my Hmong and Thai war vet friends from the Vietnam era who have relocated to upper-Wisconsin and Minnesota rave about Cabela's. Bass Pro has never been mentioned.
If it takes Lidl 630 stores and seven more years to get to Wegmans' 90 store sales level today, Lidl has a lot to overcome. First they are not that good. Sure they are better that most of the mediocre East Coast retailers like Food Lion, but they are not a high-level performer. Like someone here once wrote, all hat and no cattle. Wildly opening stores without testing them first has proven disastrous for Tesco's Fresh & Easy. I predict Fresh Thyme to be the next one to crash and burn by opening too many too soon. Lidl might have an "oh no" moment after 50 stores and will perhaps stop at 100. In a couple of years we will probably hear Lidl blame the U.S. economy, the weather and the political environment for less than expected results. If Lidl is still here in 2023 it will because Publix, Walmart, Kroger, Wegmans and Wakefern want to have a last-place punching bag to pick on like they did with A&P.